SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Sanskrit Beginners 1 - Online Intensive Aug-Sept 2022

An online intensive Sanskrit course for complete beginners

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Sanskrit Beginners 1 online intensive introduces the learner to Sanskrit as a linguistic system, by putting it in its appropriate linguistic context and looking carefully at how it is structured both in terms of its sound system and its grammar. The course presupposes no knowledge of an Indian language or of Latin or Greek.

Sanskrit Beginners 1 first establishes a familiarity with the pronunciation of Sanskrit and the association between sounds, the transliteration system (the IAST) and the Devanāgarī. Grammatical terminology is gradually incorporated, giving the student confidence in identifying parts of speech in Sanskrit before tackling grammar. At the end of the course, the student is able to read and understand basic sentences in the present tense (and the active voice), can read Sanskrit script, albeit with some difficulty and with frequent recourse to transliteration, and will have acquired a vocabulary of around 150 words.

Duration: 15hrs of classes, 5 weeks

Sanskrit Beginners 1 Online Intensive (42884)
August-September 2022 Timetable:

Day Date Time
Tuesday 2nd August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 4th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 9th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 11th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 16th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 18th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 23rd August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 25th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 30th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 1st September 19:00-20:30


This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the course.


The course will be based on the textbook:

Maurer, W. H. (2009) The Sanskrit Language: An Introductory Grammar and Reader (Revised Ed.) London: Routledge.

The tutor will also provide students with supplementary digital materials. These materials both complement the textbook and facilitate the reading of text passages. Links to online dictionaries will be provided, as well as links to documentaries, scholarly publications and website articles relating to the Sanskrit language, its history, literature and culture.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page


£299. Please see our Fees Page for full information and discounts available.

Terms and Conditions

Before applying, please be sure that you have read the SOAS Language Centre Terms and Conditions.

How to Apply

Sanskrit Beginners 1 is aimed at complete beginners, no prior language knowledge is required. Click here to enrol for for Sanskrit Beginners 1 (42884) online intensive. ​Please note that places are first come first served. Enrolments are taken until the course is fully booked, or up to midnight 17th July, whichever is soonest.

Continuing Your Study:

This Sanskrit Beginners 1 course is equivalent to the 10 week Sanskrit Beginners 1 level. Students who complete this course may be able to join a Beginners 2 for our next term starting October 2022, or a future term at SOAS Language Centre.


Sanskrit Beginners 1
  • Historical and linguistic background
  • The sound system: consonants
  • The sound system: semi-vowels and sibilants
  • The sound system: vowels
  • Reading, writing and pronunciation practice
  • Word order and parts of speech
  • First sentences in Sanskrit
  • Mid-term consolidation
  • Introduction to the Devanāgarī writing system
  • Practice in writing the Devanāgarī
  • The conjunct consonant
  • The noun: gender, number and case
  • Introduction to the verbal system
  • From sentence to text: ‘Our Town’ (Maurer, p. 62)
  • Overview and consolidation

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.